The 2002 rape and beating of the 94 year old nursing home resident initially seemed solved with the arrest of an 18 year-old man. The man confessed to the crime but was later exonerated by DNA evidence.
Roberto Recendes was convicted of domestic violence charges in 2004 in a separate case. A sample of his DNA was taken prior to his deportation back to Mexico. Later, his DNA was proven to be at the nursing home rape crime scene.
Recendes was returned to the United States in 2008 to face charges for his crime. At his December 2009 hearing, his hair was proven to be found on a blanket belonging to the victim. A necklace he wore was also found at the crime scene.
Recendes pleaded guilty to one count of sexual penetration by force, one count of elder abuse and to an enhancement of inflicting great bodily injury. He is expected to be sentenced to 17 years in prison on December 9, 2010.
Sadly, the victim has since passed away and will not personally see justice delivered. It is good to see, though, that law enforcement continued to pursue her attacker even after her death.